Melanie Jade Ottaway

This massive huntsman just ate a lizard on a family's living room window

What a nice story for everyone.

BEC CREW
7 DEC 2016
 

Australia has a reputation for harbouring some of the worst triggers on Earth for whatever nature-inspired phobia you might have. Our pizza rat is a huntsman dragging a dead mouse up the side of a refrigerator, and don’t get me started on how this kangaroo got sexually aroused by a dying female.

But don’t worry, this story is only about nice things. Nice things like a massive huntsman trying to clean up a gecko corpse from a couple’s living room window. Everyone likes nice things.

 

The images were captured by Australian Melanie Jade Ottaway at her home in Queensland, and she reports that the spider was about 12 cm in diameter (5 inches). 

"We just sat down to have dinner at the dining table and noticed something massive on the glass sliding door, I got up to have a closer look and there it was, a huge huntsman with a gorgeous little gecko in his mouth," she told Sam Webb at The Sun.

"It was too late to save him, so we let nature take its path."

Let's all just take a moment to appreciate the vacant stare of our deceased gecko friend. 

gecko-faceMelanie Jade Ottaway

It died accepting a fate that most of us wouldn't wish on our worst enemy, and it did it with little Mickey Mouse hands :(

spider-geckoMelanie Jade Ottaway

For prey like this ill-fated gecko, huntsman spiders are a pretty intimidating foe. 

Unlike web-building spiders, which can be avoided pretty easily so long as you watch where you’re going, or are big enough to not care, huntsman track their prey using stealth tactics.

 

They stalk their food, capture it, and hold it in place with powerful, mouse-toting mandibles, while their venom immobilises them.

Huntsman belong to a group of more than 1,000 separate species of spiders belonging to the Sparassidae family, and they're found across Australia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Americas.

While they're not exactly known for chowing down on mice and relatively large lizards, they're opportunistic predators, so they'll certainly give it a go if the opportunity presents itself.

And the bad news for anyone who doesn't like huntsmen - all those record-breaking months we've had this year is only going to help populations, because spiders thrive in the heat.

If you're in Sydney, we've already had a 'spider boom' earlier this year - the heat at the end of last summer caused an increase in prey that experts suspect led to an increase in spider babies surviving to adulthood.

Oh and don't think summer storms will help - that will just bring them into your home.

With record-breaking temperatures expected for this summer, I guess all we can say is good luck out there.

Here's some footage of that gecko-eating spider. I have a feeling this isn't going to be the last appalling thing we see a huntsman do in 2016:

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